Topics for Reflection

(CCC 601-602)

  • The Passion of Jesus shows us the extent of God’s Love for us.
  • The Passion shows us the evil of sin.
  • The Passion of Christ is the price of our redemption.
  • The passion of Christ, suffered once, is made present at the sacrifice of every Holy Mass.

The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of “the righteous one, my Servant” as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin. Citing a confession of faith that he himself had “received”, St. Paul professes that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.” In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfils Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant. Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant. After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles. 

“For our sake God made him to be sin”

Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers… with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.” Man’s sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death. By sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (CCC 601-602)

Readings: 5th Sunday of Lent

Reading I: Is 50:4-7

The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24.

R (2a)  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me;
            they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
“He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
            let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
R My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Indeed, many dogs surround me,
            a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
They have pierced my hands and my feet;
            I can count all my bones.
R My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
They divide my garments among them,
            and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
            O my help, hasten to aid me.
R My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
            in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, praise him;
            all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
            revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
R My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Reading II: Phil 2:6-11

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Read it here